Building links was previously all about just getting a backlink and that was it. It didn’t really matter how or from where, so long as you were getting them, you were golden. That was a long time ago, and as with everything else on the internet, things quickly evolved. Some time ago, link farms were all the rage, obviously they were not called link farms back then. They worked fine, until webmasters found a means to abuse the system and get a large number of links from them overnight. After that came the web link directories, which unlike link farms were a bit more sophisticated and organized.
Link directories are a fun way to obtain your homepage spidered quickly, maybe even grab a visitor or two if the Directory is of high quality along with your link is quite attractive. The potency of link directories has dwindled dramatically as a result of many automated software systems and sites that’ll submit your hyperlink to thousands of them overnight. It’s just not what SE’s would call an exceptional link…
Just recently, link exchanges or reciprocal backlink building sites and programs were all the rage. Deliver a link and I’ll give you one right back. If the SE’s caught to them, they evolved into 3 way link exchanges, I’ll give you a link, you give them a link and they’ll deliver a hyperlink. Seemed like the perfect solution, and also to this day still works quite well to have links in your Homepage…
Many of these systems have three inherent problems inside the eyes of search engines like google:
1. They generate links in your homepage only
2. These are systems easily manipulated through the webmasters
3. They offer almost no value, if any, for the end user, in this case visitors
It was inevitable that, eventually, the Search Engine’s would need to do something relating to this, they will have to look for a better approach to qualify, justify and rank backlinks. All things considered, links would be the backbone in the internet. Caused by this, changed how the Major Search Engine Listings glance at the links on the pages and more importantly, the backlinks pointing in your pages.
They took a 180 degree turn altogether!
As opposed to looking at the way the webmaster had optimized their website or what links were coming and going, the Search Engine’s turned their focus as to what the final users’ behavior was when clicking on or following those links!
The primary indicator of quality, relevancy and validity from the links now lies ultimately users behavior. When looked at from your Search Engines’ point of view, this will make perfect sense.
Here’s the logic behind the madness and why the SE’s trust this information much more:)
In the first place, the webmaster has hardly any power over the conclusion users actions, so this is very unbiased and raw feedback. Let’s walk through a typical scenario.
A visitor is on your site, maybe the homepage or possibly an inner page, they are interested in the content on your site and they spy a link which catches their eye they click on the link and it also takes them to another page…
Here is where it get’s interesting!
There’s only a couple of things they can do:
1. Remain that site
2. Leave that site
According to this behavior, the SE’s can tell instantly if the link was good or bad.
If the visitor immediately closes the new page or backspaces away, the Search Engines can make certain assumptions. For instance they might assume the hyperlink was irrelevant for the page it pointed to, they might think that the anchor text used in the hyperlink was deceitful. One of many ways or the other, that exact visitor was not satisfied with that link, so the SE may not give that link any weight.
However, when the visitor chose to stay on the page after pursuing the link, the picture is entirely different. Now the SE begins to analyze why they may have stayed on the page. They are going to look first at the page the link was on and compare it towards the anchor-text in the link for relevancy. Chances are they will glance at the page the link was pointing to – the page an individual is currently on – and compare that to both the link anchor text and also the previous page.
Next they will likely glance at the users behavior while on the new page, how long they stay on the page, if they go back to the previous page, or maybe they adhere to a link within the current page, and when so, could it be an inside link or even an external link…
When all is said and done, the effect from this extensive research will ultimately determining whether or not this link applies and what weight it needs to be given. The more weight the hyperlink is offered, the larger overall ranking the page will get in the major search engines for that terms researched. You may ask, “How can the SE’s possibly get this all data?”
Easy, there’s several tools that Google as well as other SE’s use to follow along with you around the web, like Toolbars, certain Browsers not to mention, Google Analytics. Since this writing, it is actually estimated that almost 60% of webmasters are employing Google Analytics to gather user specific data on their sites.
Performs this mean you should not use Google Analytics?
Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, we strongly recommend that you simply do utilize it. It’s a great way to see what your potential customers are performing on your site:) The valuable data! But simultaneously, you need to know using this data and tool to your advantage.
The take away lesson from this article needs to be:
When link building, always think like your visitor and not like a webmaster trying to get pagerank. Build good quality, relevant backlinks that point to content on pages that will be beneficial to your visitor and can make you look like an authority for providing it. These are called “Deep Links” and they move from an inner page on your site towards the inner page of the completely yhdlrh but very relevant site. Don’t concern yourself with the little amount of visitors that you may lose to these links, if done right, link building will increase your overall traffic by tenfold or even more!
In another article, we are going to discuss why it is actually required to have links on your pages, instead of the popular belief that by doing so you will leak pagerank, it’s not true…